Title IX, STEM, Disparity-Proves Discrimination Dogma, Selective Concern For Gender Imbalances

Mark Perry
updated | Author's Website
Click to enlarge.

REUTERS (June 20) — “The White House announced new measures to help increase the number of women in the science, math and technology fields as part of a celebration for the 40-year anniversary of a law prohibiting discrimination in education based on gender. The new guidelines are reinforcements to the law, known as Title IX.
They include the Department of Education broadening data collection in public schools for more accurate analysis of the gender and minority gaps in enrollment, graduation rates and in science classes. New guidelines will also be issued to grant-receiving universities and colleges to help institutions comply with Title IX rules in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.”
MP: At that celebration, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said it was “imperative” that more girls are encouraged to pursue careers in STEM fields, and Carnegie Mellon University president Jarod Cohon described the under-representation of women in STEM education as a “national crisis.”
The data in the table above (click to enlarge) are from the Department of Education and show college degrees for the Class of 2010 (most recent year available) by gender and field of study.  Based on those outcomes in the table, here are some gender gaps that will most likely: a) be exempt from any Title IX rules, b) not result in any “imperatives” to encourage boys to pursue different fields of study, and c) will not be referred to as a “national crisis”:
1. Women earned more bachelor’s (57.2%), master’s (60.3%) and doctor’s degrees (51.7%) than men in 2010 reflecting gender gaps in favor of women at all levels of higher education.  The gender imbalance favoring women was especially significant at the master’s level, where 152 women earned master’s degrees in 2010 for every 100 men.
2. In 9 out of 17 major fields of study at the bachelor’s and doctor’s levels, and in 11 out of 17 fields at the master’s level, women were over-represented. Some of the fields of study with the biggest gender imbalances favoring women include: 
a. Health Professions (85.1% female at the undergraduate level and 81.4% at the master’s level), 
b. Public Administration and Social Services (82% female at the undergraduate level and 75.2% at the master’s level),  
c. Psychology (more than 70% female at all three levels)
d. Biology (53% or higher at all three levels, 58.5% for bachelor’s degrees – isn’t Biology a STEM field?)
e. Education (79.5% for bachelor’s degrees and 77% for master’s degrees)
3. Although not displayed in the table, there are huge gender degree disparities in favor of women for certain health fields at the doctoral level like veterinary medicine (77.6% female), pharmacy (63.8% female) and optometry (66.0% female).
MP: The White House’s concern for gender imbalances appears to very selective and isolated to only certain fields of study where women are under-represented.  On the other hand, there appears to be no concern at all about the overall college degree gap in favor of women, and no concern or Title IX rules for fields of study like health professions (572 women graduating with bachelor’s degrees for every 100 men), education, psychology (395 women graduating with master’s degrees for every 100 men), biology, communication, veterinary medicine (346 women graduating with doctor’s degrees for every 100 men).  
There is now even some speculation that the ultimate goal of the White House is to use Title IX to impose a very narrowly targeted quota system for STEM education, or “science quotas for women,” to overcome the alleged gender discrimination against women in STEM that is supposedly to blame for the gender disparities.  But shouldn’t the application of the “disparity-proves-discrimination” dogma that is motivating the extension of Title IX to STEM education also be applied to the non-STEM fields as well, and the STEM fields where women are over-represented (biology, veterinary medicine, etc.)?  After all, if perfect gender parity in STEM is the goal of Title IX, then the natural extension of that approach is to impose perfect gender parity for all degrees and all field of study.  Therefore, simple logic would dictate that we either apply Title IX comprehensively across all of fields of study to socially engineer perfect gender degree parity for all majors, or we don’t apply it all.  But to apply Title IX selectively to only STEM fields would be inconsistent, illogical and contradictory and would expose the fallacy of the gender activists’ very, very selective concern for gender imbalances.    

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